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Psycho (1960) Film Analysis

911 words - 4 pages


Psycho (1960) Film Analysis

Director Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film, Psycho, is a psychological thriller about a human psychotic, Norman Bates. The film starts off with an opportunistic theft lead by Marion Crane. As she heads towards the city to meet her love interest, she stops by to spend the night at the Bates Motel where she meets Norman Bates. She is murdered in the shower by what appears to be Norman’s mother, after which, Norman helps dispose of the body. Marion’s disappearance turns into a hunt lead by a detective, her sister, and love interest. They all trail back to the motel where the detective is also murdered and where we finally find out the truth about Norman ...view middle of the document...

We really see her split personality when Marion is driving and battling both sides of her conscious and also with the voices of those that her crime has affected. I believe that Normans character is used by Hitchcock to slowly sway the audience’s sympathy from Marion to Norman. Even though his character is at first perceived as being harmless, I think there are glimpses of his darker side shown long before we actually find out about his split personality. An example of this is when Norman is having dinner with Marion and he leans forwards when speaking about putting his mother in an institution, which gives off a bit anger that we haven’t seen before in his character.

After the opening titles in the film, there is an establishing shot, which is used to set the scene. A high angle shot is used when Marion is counting her stolen money in the bathroom. The angle of this shot shows her weakness in the situation, as well as, letting the audience almost intrude on the action. An over the shoulder shot is used to reveal Norman uncovering a hole in the wall which looks into the cabin that Marion is staying in. I believe that this shot is what initiated a whole different side to Norman’s character, that the audience hasn’t seen yet. A two shot is used in the bathroom scene when Marion is showering and the door swings open, revealing a shadowy character. This shot makes the audience anticipate what will happen next. As soon as the shower curtain is opened, the camera quickly zooms on a mid shot of a shadowy...

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